Children should not eat too much canned tuna, otherwise they could be at risk of mercury poisoning.
An organization report Mercury Policy Project recommends that children should not consume light tuna more than once a month if they weigh less than 25 kg, and if they weigh more than 25 kg they can eat it up to twice a month.
The results also suggest that children should avoid albacore and albacore tuna, as levels of mercury were detected three times higher than the levels of light tuna.
In the study, 59 samples of canned tuna from 11 US states were analyzed for their mercury content. The results show that mercury levels vary considerably, both between types of tuna and within the same can, different parts have different concentrations of mercury.
Mercury poisoning is a disease caused by excessive exposure to mercury or its compounds. Mercury can be found in water, rocks, soil, and air.
Some aquatic animals such as certain types of fish and shellfish show accumulation of methylmercury, a very toxic form of mercury.
Fish such as tuna, shark or swordfish accumulate more methylmercury than others. This is due to the age of the animal, how high they are in the food chain and what they eat. The higher you are on the food chain, the greater your accumulation of mercury.
Mercury poisoning can cause peripheral neuropathy, reduced peripheral vision, loss of coordination, muscle weakness, speech and hearing impairment.
In the case of pregnant women, it is recommended to reduce their consumption, since children whose mothers had high levels of mercury during pregnancy can have cognitive problems, as well as deficiencies in their central nervous system.